Easy Ways To Improve Retargeting Ad Campaigns
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a powerful form of digital advertising in which audiences (potential customers) are targeted with specific ads based on their behavior online.
In other words, retargeting campaigns turn internet “window shoppers” into real paying customers for your business.
While we as marketers would love to live in a world in which a majority of online visitors became customers, the truth is the buying process is extremely complicated. In fact, roughly 98 percent of your website traffic won’t convert into customers upon the first visit.
Retargeting ad campaigns play into one of the oldest concepts in marketing: The Rule of Seven.
The Rule of Seven simply states that the prospective buyer should hear or see your marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you.
It is predicated on the notion of building trust with the buyer over the course of several messages or interactions.
Which brings us to the seven easy improvements you can make to your advertising campaigns starting today.
Tip #1: Understand the buyer journey (or buyer cycle)
Understanding the buyer journey (or buyer cycle) is crucial and applies to all of your retargeting campaigns.
It’s similar to the sales funnel, in that the process begins with more customers at the top in the awareness stage and ends up at the bottom with much fewer people in the conversion stage. Here’s a nifty graph showing this process from McKinsey & Company:
Retargeting is intended to capture more of those consumers as they proceed through the funnel. But if you’re not careful, you can actually damage conversion rates by ignoring the buying cycle.
If you’re considering letting your retargeting ad campaigns roll along on their own: don’t do it.
It’s not just about showing your ad to the wrong person multiple times, which by the way, can be quite annoying to customers.
It’s more about losing all awareness of the performance of your ads. If there’s one thing that marketers need, it’s a detailed understanding of their data and the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives. That means understanding what’s successful and what’s not. Who’s converting on what? Which ad set or ad creatives have the highest ROI?
Tip #2: Improve audience targeting
Needless to say, that approach isn’t always the most effective.
Customers visit your website for lots of different reasons. They visit different pages. The pages they visit represent different buyer intents. Perhaps they’re not looking to buy your product at all.
The key is to match your custom advertising audiences to those shoppers’ intents.
For example, if you’re an e-commerce brand and someone visits your website shopping for shoes, make sure that you segment those people into a custom audience labeled “shoe shoppers” or “footwear.”
Tip #3: Keep a close eye on advertising frequency
Frequency is something that many advertisers don’t necessarily consider in their campaigns but should be thinking about in terms of improving their overall performance.
A recent study on U.S. consumer emotions associated with retargeting ads determined that ad frequency had a negative impact on buyer emotions.
Heavy ad frequency changes a buyer’s outlook from positive to negative. It can be intrusive, annoying, and worse yet — it may cause customers to become angry with your brand. Which will affect current and future sales?
Make sure to implement some sort of ad frequency limit on your campaigns.
Tip #4: Experiment until you find a highly-compelling offer
We had the pleasure of hosting Facebook ad expert Molly Pittman the Buffer Podcast back in episode 42 and she discussed this idea of lead magnets.
Lead magnets are your most compelling call-to-action. Something that you know your customers love and that other person will love, too.
If you’re not sure what that lead magnet could be, start with a quick analysis of your website traffic. What products, pages, articles are people visiting most frequently?
Then if you want to take it a step deeper, analyze conversion rates for those products or pages. In other words, what’s the total number of people that convert from a specific page compared to the total number of visitors?
The higher the conversion rate, the better the magnet.
Tip #5: Utilize Dynamic Creative Ads on Facebook
You’ve probably experimented with dynamic product ads on Facebook, but have you tried dynamic creative ads?
Dynamic creative ads are a tremendous advertising tool because they ultimately take the guessing work out of your advertising copy.
You can upload multiple images or videos, headline and description variations, as well as CTA button texts – and Facebook will test and automatically optimize for the best combinations. This graphic from WeRSM demonstrates this concept perfectly:
It’s important to note here that, because Dynamic Creative Ads only work with Traffic, Conversions, and App Install campaigns, it’s best to use these types of ads in the middle and the bottom of your sales funnel.
For instance, if your e-commerce business sells sunglasses, you could easily test standard product photos, action shots, vs. customer testimonials in your ads.
Facebook will then put your budget to the ads that are performing best.
Tip #6: Set up simple sequential engagement campaigns
When setting up sequential engagement campaigns, you’re taking a very large audience and converting them into a smaller, more qualified audience.
This is different from segmenting your audience because this is based on people who interact with your content. It’s a great way to grow your brand awareness while also moving people down the funnel.
Let’s say your a small-to-medium sized e-commerce brand that sells unique hair products.
Start by boosting a video that has performed well organically on Facebook or Instagram.
After a while, the views of that video will slowly start to pile up. You can then create a custom audience based on people who have watched 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 50%, 75%, or even 100% of the video and target them with an ad that makes sense sequentially.
Tip #7: Embrace the emotional element of advertising
We all like to believe that we’re intelligent buyers who always act rationally, but that’s only partially true. Our emotional side has a lot to say when it comes to purchasing products.
A simple list of product features might convince the rational self in some users, but it tends to have no effect on their emotional self. Our emotional self-doesn’t care about features, that part of us wants to see and imagine the benefits.
Coca-Cola’s recent Super Bowl ad, A Coke is a Coke, is a wonderful example of how emotions can elicit strong feelings of connection and understanding:
It’s important to address both the rational and emotional side of potential customers in your ads. Speak like a human. Use emotive language. Talk about benefits, not features.
Help people imagine a life with your product – one they never knew existed.